Creating new culture, and carrying materials that epitomize “fresh” – JUN and MASH Holdings, which both carry many popular brands, have decided to join forces in establishing a new online EC operating company. The company will be formed around February 2019, and its EC site will open in October 2019. The total capital investment will be within 100 million yen, and JUN and MASH Holdings each plan to take 50% stakes. The company plans to carry approximately 2.5 billion yen in products in its initial fiscal year, and targets going public at a level of 7 to 10 billion yen in product volume in approximately five years. The site will offer a wide range of products, including those from JUN and MASH Holdings, as well as other companies.

New value and openness

Susumu Sasaki, the president of JUN states, “MASH Holdings is a company looking to create new value and culture. If we combine our strengths, we’ll have a business more exciting than anything out there.” President Hiroyuki Kondo of MASH Holdings shares, “Our goal in going public is not only to generate profits for JUN and our company, but to also establish a more open corporate posture that places importance on fairness and transparency. We will prepare the ‘soil’ that makes it easy for high-quality domestic and international brands to participate.”

Susumu Sasaki, company president of JUN (Photo right), Hiroyuki Kondo,company president of MASH Holdings

The name of the company is still undecided.

The new company will select three directors, including the representative director, from outside JUN and MASH Holdings, and both companies plan to place two supporting members on the board. Kondo of MASH Holdings states, “If we receive interest from investors outside our two companies, we would like to consider them seriously.”

The new site will be based around five categories: fashion, beauty, sports, food and lifestyle, featuring products from all JUN and MASH Holdings brands, including their men’s and women’s collections.

To differentiate itself, the site will focus on 1.) offering jointly planned products from the existing brands of JUN and MASH Holdings, 2.) developing new site-original brands, and 3.) promoting domestic and international brands scouted by JUN and MASH Holdings. The site will also actively reach out to companies offering products with a taste and style aligned with the new EC department.

WELCOME GROUP (CEO: Masaki Yokokawa), which focuses on food, beverages, and interior related products has already agreed to participate, bolstering the new site’s lifestyle offerings. CEO Yokokawa shares his high expectations of the new platform, stating, “Among the clothing, food, and interior products offered by our group, we will primarily focus on cooperating in the food and interior space. In addition to direct retailing, the WELCOME GROUP is also utilizing its know-how to promote its BtoB (business-to-business) offerings, and is advancing partnerships with a wide range of industries, including commercial facilities and hotels, as well as retailers. This project is part of that initiative.”

Culture conscious

The project to establish the new EC department gained traction over the past six months, approximately 18 months after President Kondo of MASH Holdings spoke to President Sasaki of JUN. While there are many EC sites offering a wide range of products or quick delivery, the two leaders saw an opportunity for entry to the market in light of the few sites in Japan that allowed customers to learn about and be electrified by the latest trends and cultures.

President Sasaki states that their new site will target, “people highly knowledgeable about the latest fashion and culture.” The site will seek to introduce products from a new angle, through initiatives such as promoting looks designed by creators incorporating products from a number of different brands. The new site will advance a business focusing on the development of new sophisticated products in the beauty and food categories, based on the themes of organic, natural and health.

Regarding his vision for the new site, President Sasaki of JUN states, “We will create an ‘aspirational marketplace.’ I want to make it a forum of enlightenment where we can present the very essence of fashion that is fresh and universal.” President Kondo states, “I would like to continuously send out a signal, and incorporate real-world events and other activities, while creating new value and a market that is cognizant of sustainability.”

President Susumu Sasaki of JUN, “If we combine our strengths, we’ll have a business more exciting than anything out there.” (Right); President Hiroyuki Kondo of MASH Holdings, “We will establish a company based on openness.” (Left)